Page Links:

Services for Students Requiring Homebound Instruction

The SBCSC provides instruction to children unable to attend school because of physical disabilities or special health problems. It is important to note that although it is called homebound services, rarely are the services actually provided in the home.  Services are generally provided at a school, public library or another community site.   

Medical Homebound

All students with injuries and temporary or chronic illnesses that preclude their attendance in school, including students who are not eligible for special education and related services, must be provided with instruction.

Before instruction for a student unable to attend school can begin, the parent must provide the school corporation with a written statement from a physician (which includes a doctor of osteopathy) with a valid, unlimited license to practice medicine, or a Christian Science practitioner, that states one (1) of the following:

    1. The student has a temporary illness or injury that will require the student's absence from school for a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive instructional days. If the:
      1. illness or injury occurs less than twenty (20) instructional days prior to the end of the school year; and
      2. student needs instruction to meet promotion or graduation requirements; the physician's statement must indicate that the student will be unable to attend school through the end of the current school year.
    2. The student has a chronic illness or other medical condition that will require the student's absence for an aggregate of at least twenty (20) instructional days over the period of the school year.
  • The student must be enrolled in an accredited school (public or nonpublic) and reside in the South Bend Community School Corporation district.  The student has to have a temporary illness or injury that will require the student’s absence from school for a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive instructional days.
  • A Medical Referral for Homebound Instruction form must be completed, (see above criteria) and submitted to the Special Education Department.  This form is available from the Special Education Department or is located on the Special Ed Forms Page.
  • The physician’s statement must show one (1) of the following:
    • (a) the student has an illness or injury that will require the student’s absence from school for a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive instructional days.  If the illness occurs less than twenty (20) instructional days prior to the end of the year and the student needs instruction to meet graduation requirements, the physician’s statement must indicate the student will be unable to attend school through the end of the current school year.
    • (b) the student has a chronic illness or other medical condition that will require the student’s absence for an aggregate of at least twenty (20) instructional days over the period of the school year.
  • It is recommended that the school obtain signed parental permission to collaborate with medical staff for ongiong medical issues. FERPA-HIPPA - Authorization for Release of Medical and Education [In Spanish]
General Education

If the student is not identified as a student with an IEP, the school social worker, counselor or school nurse is responsible for contacting Special Education Services (393-6119).

Special Education

If the request for Homebound Services is being made for a student with an IEP, a case conference should be convened, which must include all appropriate members, including a support team member. Homebound services may not begin until the parent signs the Notice of Implementation OR on the 11th day after the parent receives the finalized IEP (if the parent dissents within 10 school days of receiving the finalized IEP, the new IEP may NOT be implemented).

  • Under Article 7, a parent may challenge an IEP by requesting a meeting, mediation, or due process hearing, and the immediate effect of this challenge is that the proposed IEP may not be implemented and the student must remain in the current placement (under the last agreed upon IEP prior to the proposed IEP) until the matter is resolved by engaging in one of these processes pursuant to Article 7

Non Medical Homebound

SBCSC shall provide special education instruction to a student identified as eligible for special education services in an alternative setting if it is considered by the case conference committee, after a review of all interventions and data, to be the least restrictive environment in which to provide the student a free and appropriate public education.  Since this is the most restrictive educational environment, this option is appropriate for only the most challenging behaviors which pose significant safety concerns [e.g ongoing episodes of severe aggression, continued significant disruption to the learning environment for the student or others (as defined by the need for multiple members of staff to ensure the safety of the student/others, or multiple episodes of explosive behavior lasting 30 minutes or more, despite the implementation of the suggestions listed below)]. It is imperative that staff consider the function of the student’s behavior in determining appropriate interventions.

It is strongly encouraged that the following interventions/strategies be implemented as part of the building level staffing process PRIOR TO CONSIDERING/RECOMMENDING Homebound:  
  • Revisions to the IEP (at least 2 substantive revisions within the 2 months prior to the recommendation for homebound services).
    • Additions of additional academic/behavioral accommodations
    • Revisions of FBA/BIP
      • For behavioral interventions, see Special Education Home page
  • Data Collection must occur on each intervention
  • Change of environment:
    • teacher
    • length of day
    • limited transitions
    • increase in special education support/change of location (i.e. pull out)
  • Daily direct instruction in social skills/emotional regulation (e.g. Zones of Regulation) for a period of at least 4 weeks.
  • Consistent consultation with social worker, psychologist, behavioral interventionist, and/or support team member
  • Involvement of outside agencies
  • Consistent involvement/communication with the parent
The following additional two steps are required when considering recommending Non Medical Homebound:
  1. The school must conduct a staffing that includes:
    • the TOR, and other staff working with the student
    • the Special Education Support Staff assigned to that building
    • the building Principal
      • At the staffing, the members should review and discuss:
        • the amount of services provided in both the general education and special education setting
        • research or evidence-based interventions attempted with the student and the data obtained from the implementation of these interventions
        • the Functional Behavioral Assessment
        • the current Behavioral Intervention Plan (including any/all existing behavioral data)
        • other potential interventions not already attempted

    Note:  It is possible that additional interventions will need to be attempted prior to proceeding with homebound services.

  1. Submit draft IEP
    • Following the staffing and prior to the case conference in which homebound may be recommended, the draft IEP must be submitted to the district Special Education Supervisor to ensure that there is appropriate documentation (see Documentation Needed for Homebound Services).  Please do NOT schedule the case conference with the parents prior to hearing from the supervisor reviewing the draft IEP.


Once a decision has been made, the designated Special Education Supervisor will notify the TOR, Principal, and Special Education Support Team member of the decision.  It is possible that additional interventions need to be attempted prior to proceeding with homebound services.  

      • If additional interventions are needed, a second staffing will be held to implement recommendations from the supervisor.
      • If no additional interventions are needed, a case conference will be scheduled to discuss potential recommendation for homebound services.

Legally, the case conference committee must reconvene at least every sixty (60) instructional days to review the individualized education program; however, best practice would be to review the student’s progress every 20 days, if needed.  The type, intensity, and duration of special education and related services provided to student on homebound instruction shall be determined by the case conference committee.

After the Case Conference:

  • Make sure the notes reflect all discussion and opinions of the case conference committee
  • Schedule a meeting no more than 60 school days out to review the progress toward the identified criteria, and consider return to school/continuation of homebound
  • Provide a copy of the IEP to the Support Team to send to the Special Education Department ASAP
  • If homebound instruction is due to medical needs, TOR will provide the parent with the Medical Referral for Homebound Instruction form so that it can be sent downtown. 
  • TOR fills out the Transportation request
  • Parent must sign Notice of Implementation at the case conference for the Homebound to begin immediately.
    • However, please note that if the parent is not willing to transport in the interim, and the committee must wait for transportation to be established, the student will remain in the school until transportation has been established.
  • If the parent is not in attendance, homebound services can NOT begin until the Notice of Implementation is signed OR 11 school days after the parent has been provided the finalized IEP (unless the parent submits a dissenting opinion).
  • If the parent does not agree to homebound instruction, follow the instructions for a Dissenting Opinion.
  • TOR fills out as much of the Homebound Instruction Worksheet as possible and sends to Special Education Services.

Staff & Parent Responsibilities

Teacher of Record
  • Consult with building staff to see if anyone is willing to do homebound instruction with the student.
  • If no one at the building level is willing to provide the instruction, notify Pauline Busby [(574) 393-6122] so that she can begin looking for an instructor.
  • Student will remain on current TOR's caseload.
  • Provide the Homebound instructor with a copy of the most current IEP.
  • Train the Homebound instructor in the Behavioral Intervention Plan, Safety Plan and/or Health Plan, and document this on the Training Verification Form.
  • Consult with the classroom teacher to ensure that all textbooks, assignments and instructional materials are provided.
  • Provide the Homebound instructor with the means with which to collect the data required to conduct progress monitoring for each of the student’s goals.
  • Enter all Progress monitoring in IIEP.
  • Notify the Special Education Department (393-6119) as soon as the student returns to school and homebound instruction is terminated.
Classroom Teacher
  • Contact the teacher of record and provide:  classroom work, textbooks, tests for the student.
  • The student should remain on the attendance sheets, and be marked "E" for Excused and coded "H" for homebound.
  • The student will remain enrolled in your school. Grades and credits will be recorded under his/her scheduled classroom teacher each grading period. It is the responsibility of the homebound instructor to provide this information to the classroom teacher.
  • All parties should remain in communication on a weekly basis.
Homebound Instructor
  • Make arrangements to start tutoring the student immediately and notify the Special Education Department (393-6119) if you have difficulty scheduling time or getting in touch with parents.
  • Consult weekly with the TOR who will consult with the classroom teacher to provide textbooks, assignments and instructional materials. 
    • For high school students, you should also be consulting with the guidance counselor so that they can communicate with the student's teachers regarding the grades that the student has earned so that credits can be awarded.
  • The homebound instructor is responsible for correcting assigned work, giving grades, and providing the classroom teacher with samples of the student's work, along with progress reports.
  • Homebound instructor will return completed assignments/ tests to the Teacher of Record.
  • Homebound instructor will be responsible for collecting data on each of the student’s goals (using the means of data collection provided by the TOR) so that the TOR can complete progress monitoring.
  • Homebound instructor will keep attendance and report it weekly to the TOR or guidance counselor, who will record it. Student will not be marked absent on days when homebound instruction is not scheduled, or when the homebound instructor has to cancel a scheduled session.
    • Follow the SBCSC school calendar for expected dates of attendance.
  • Homebound instructor should notify parent/TOR no less than two hours prior to the student’s scheduled time if he/she has to cancel a scheduled session. The homebound instructor will also notify the Transportation Department of any absence (of the instructor).
  • If the student is a no show with no prior notice, the homebound instructor will be paid for an hour on that day. The student will be marked absent after 60 minutes. 
  • If student repeatedly does not show:
    • Parent should be called by the instructor and the instructor should then notify the TOR.
    • Transportation may stop coming and need to be re-instated.
    • Case conference may need to be reconvened.
  • Consult with the parent on a bi-monthly basis regarding the student’s academic and behavioral progress as it relates to each of the student’s goals.
  • Homebound Instructor should email weekly Feedback form to the TOR.
  • The Special Education Department will give the Homebound Instructor time cards to fill out. You may only report instructional time. Prior authorization must be obtained before reporting any other time.
    • Send your completed time cards to the Special Education Department to the attention of Pauline Busby. Time is reported to payroll on the Friday before the following Friday's payday.
  • Parents must contact the homebound instructor if the student will not attend a session.  Failure to attend three (3) consecutive sessions (without prior notification to Transportation Dept) will result in the temporary suspension of the homebound instruction transportation.  Parents should contact transportation to re-establish transportation.

FAQ - Homebound Instruction

  1. Who will deliver homebound instruction?
    • The homebound tutor is to be a certified teacher
    • The student's GE teacher, TOR, or other building staff member would be the optimal choice to provide homebound instruction
    • Call the Office of Special Education Services (393-6119), if no building staff are willing to provide homebound instruction. 
    • If student is in 9th grade or above, homebound instructor must be highly qualified so that the student can earn credits.
    • Special Ed Services will officially authorize the assignment of the homebound instructor.
  2. Where will homebound instruction take place?
    • Homebound instruction is rarely provided in the student's home.
    • Best practice would be to keep the student connected to his/her school by conducting the homebound instruction at the school building. This could be done in a classroom, or the school library after school hours. 
    • If instruction cannot be done at the school, some other options might be:
      • the local public library
      • community center (such as Charles Black Center, Robinson Center)
        • Community centers should be contacted to ask for permission before scheduling instruction there.
      • another SBCSC school building
    • Homebound instruction can be provided in a public library, a school building, or in extreme cases where the student is medically unable to leave the home environment, can be provided in the home.  In the case of a hospitalized student, services may be provided in the hospital setting as long as it is a local hospital and the hospital stay is a short stay.  Specific time and place should be worked out between the homebound instructor, the student and the family.  (FYI - SBCSC contracts with teachers at Riley Children’s Hospital and some hospitals in Chicago if the student has a medical stay there.)
  3. When will the instruction take place?
    • The homebound instructional schedule will be mutually agreed upon between the parents and the instructor.
    • Most homebound instruction takes place outside of school hours due to teacher schedules.
    • Homebound instruction is based on the individual student’s needs and can range from five (5) to ten (10) hours per week for students in grades K-12.  Homebound services follow the same school calendar, and no services are typically provided during school breaks.
  4. What will the instructor teach?
    • This is a case conference committee decision, but typically instruction should focus on Language Arts, Math, and social skill development.
    • Factors determining the number of courses offered for high school students will be based on current status of work completed, time remaining in the semester, feasibility of course requirements, and medical limitations, however; this usually results in two class offerings. The guidance department at the high school will assist in making the determination as to which courses will be offered during the time a student is on homebound instruction.  All assignments and coursework must be completed according to curriculum guidelines before a credit is earned.